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Tuesday, February 8, 2011

A Seemingly Unseemly Side of Sam

Sam Crawford's oft repeated pledge, to protect property owners from the egregious regulations of government, and his undying defense of property rights even where they offend the public interest, seem to have, if embarrassingly, put our fearless council leader front and center again.

And again, his Little Shop of Favors, Emerald Lake Consulting, appears to be where the rubber meets the road, in this instance, as usual, it's the vehicle for the constituent to pay Sam for his representation.

According to reports, a company inappropriately known as Standard Properties (inappropriate as it clearly appears they're really sub-standard properties) was just fined some $21,000 for myriad zoning infractions for property they owned and rented along the Guide Meridian. Still more fines and violations are expected as other locations belonging to the company, owned by one Murray D. Wood, are investigated.

County officers received a complaint about the property at the end of November and began their investigation shortly thereafter, finding a business operating out of a cargo container, and people living in illegal apartments that lacked windows and sufficient doors to allow them to escape a fire. These just some amongst a long list of other violations.

One might say Wood was something of a "slumlord."

Being so discovered apparently prompted Wood to seek legal help; and, it seems that took him to Sam Crawford and Belcher-Swanson. (not necessarily in that order)

Nonetheless, and notwithstanding such savvy advisors, the fines did roll.

How many readers think it was our council chairman, Crawford, who advised the Health Department of the sewage that was surfacing there?

You have to wonder how Mr. Wood discovered Sam's quiet little consultancy? Was it Sam's confederate, Jack Swanson, as Wood's attorney, who advised of Crawford's usefulness? Curious. Did Sam introduce Wood to Jack, or did Jack introduce Wood to Sam?

I don't think Wood introduced Sam to Jack. They know each other pretty well!

According to Crawford, he hasn't interceded directly with Planning & Development Services on Wood's behalf. That's reassuring. Seems Sam has become sensitive to these conflicts of interest and may stop abusing the planning department staff for free help, and consideration for his clients.

It's been months now since Crawford offered to disclose the financial dealings of Emerald Lake Consultants. Months with nary a whisper of information. But, we see, it's still business as usual for Sam and his pals.

Rest assured fellow citizens, surely our ever attentive county prosecutor must be more than a little uncomfortable with such a system and its potential for abuse. He must be quietly investigating these matters and will certainly be subpoenaing Emerald Lake Consultants' bank records to assure us no graft's being practiced here. Sure he is!

But local conservatives must be very proud of their man Sam, who clearly seems the unwavering defender of property rights and property owners ... no matter how unseemly.